09 December 2007


And, no, not a fundamentalist "Christian" party to split the Right, but rather a new party to stand for the future...

The Green Party used to be promising, in that direction. Now it looks like a ball and chain. Let's look at its faults:

1) the fact that the various informal systems of economic and political patronage that characterize American economic/political life have all been arranged to benefit Democrats and exclude Greens.

2) The Green Party's custom of holding "beauty contest" primaries -- you can vote all you want, for instance, for the seven candidates running for President next year, but the real decision will be made at the convention in Chicago in June.

3) The Green Party's concentration among middle-class white voters in boutique cities, which has a chance of being remedied this year.

4) The Green Party's habit of pursuing "consensus" and "supermajority" decision making systems at political conventions, which grants inordinate power to those who are holding up consensus.

5) The fact that the mass media, having been stripped of any real obligations to the public through the crumbling of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan, is not even obliged to tell the public of the Green Party's existence.

and, last but not least:

6) The fact that the above non-system has allowed the Green Party to be dominated by "gatekeepers," well-meaning people (Mike Feinstein, Phil Huckelberry, Jody Haug, and so on) whose job it is to make sure that all serious proposals go through them first.

The Democratic Party myth about all this is that the Green Party can't win because of the American electoral system, and that the Greens had better get used to it, and get back in the habit of voting for the "lesser of two evils" candidates. Yeah, right. Nonsense. The Green Party can't win because it has fallen into the mold of the standard US "fringe" party.

Now, maybe Cynthia McKinney can break through that mold, and, after having curried favor with all the GPUS gatekeepers, bring a lot of new, exciting people into the Green Party. But her webpage reveals a way-too-brief pitch for "give us money," to which the average reader will ask, "why?"

None of the other candidates have much besides shoestring-budget webpages, 'cept, of course, that eternal scapegoat Ralph Nader, who still gets attack diaries on DailyKos.com seven years after his supposed "spoiler" effort in Florida (you know, the one in which the Supreme Court elected the President?).

The Democratic Party has the culture of a political party that could realize some important truths about the world, chained to a series of myths about political life that justify acquiescence to the status quo. It's an exasperating combination. The problem is that the Democratic Party is so vast that there are more committed ecosocialists in the DP than there are in the Green Party. Hard to believe, eh?

In the California primary this year, I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich for President. The effort this year seems to be a lot better than the one in 2004. Ignore all the Ron Paul gossip. Something has to give, and it has to be within the ranks of the vast Democratic Party. If Dennis starts to win states maybe I'll remain a Democrat. If not, I'll be re-registering Green. But either the Green Party gets its much-needed overhaul, or something else has to form. It has to.

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